Co-working spaces are becoming more and more popular among small businesses and entrepreneurs in South Africa and, as a result, they are starting to open everywhere. With more and more options available, the dictum of “let the buyer beware” holds true. Not all co-working spaces are the same, and not all offer the same benefits. When choosing your shared office space, look out for these seven characteristics:
Choose your location carefully. You need to avoid a long commute, so choose a site that is relatively close to your clients. Also, choose a spot that’s close to shops and business hubs that will serve your daily operations.
Either you are moving from a home-based work to a shared office space, or you run a larger business and are downgrading your office space to a shared one so as to cut costs. Either way, the price of the new space is a key consideration for you. The monthly cost needs to make sense for you. On average, co-working offices cost between 30 and 50% less than traditional offices. Look around and compare prices; if the rent being demanded is higher than that range, look elsewhere.
3. Work Environment
Obviously, your office space needs to be a place that is conducive to working productively and happily. When viewing a potential shared office space, try to go during a working day to get a feel for the ambience. You need to choose a place in which you and your colleagues will feel comfortable.
What comes with the office space? Good co-working spaces will provide an entirely serviced and equipped office with receptionist, telephones, WiFi, printing, and so forth – all included in the rate. There is no need to settle for a place that doesn’t have these or expects you to pay extra for them.
5. Conference Facilities
You need a place where you can meet clients and make them feel both welcome and comfortable. A great co-working space will have fully equipped conference and meeting facilities on site – again, all included in the price.
6. Kitchen, Food and Coffee
At the very least, a decent shared office facility will have well-equipped coffee and tea stations and a basic kitchen. The best ones actually also provide food. This is an option that could either be included in the rental or might be an optional extra.
A shared office space is a community, so it should be one of which you are happy to be a part. Hopefully, you will be surrounded by like-minded people who can help to make working there a mutual pleasure. It might also provide networking opportunities that can lead to business growth for everyone. So, look carefully at the people you will be sharing your space with to make sure you will be a good fit.
Jason Scholtz is the CEO of Envision Investments, and a leader in the property and strategic investment industry in South Africa. He is the founder of LiquidHub, a growing chain of shared workspaces set to revolutionise the way South Africans handle their workdays. For more tips and an insider’s look into the South African business environment, and to learn more about LiquidHub, be sure to get in touch, keep an eye on this blog or visit http://www.envisioninvestments.co.za/.